Since i started working again, October 2014, i knew this. I want to turn my life around. Desperately.
All my energy went into this. Making the final post for lfs.nl was a step. Starting up ellenpronk.com another. Making my walks, cooking, talking about my past work, my past mistakes, making the videoclips, singing the songs. All part of the same process.
I got the idea of this post last week Friday. Sex! Ooh, of course. Right now, i’m not so sure. It is not i am ashamed of my sex life, my erotic feelings. But sex is not my main interest. I like it, sure. But right now it is all by myself. A single activity.
What i really want is love. True love. Friendship. Joy. Pleasure. In all its many intricate little ways. A best friend.
A few weeks ago i met someone new. I liked him. I could have left my dreams behind. But no. He said something which made me think again. He didn’t want anything. It took me some time, some thinking, some letting go of my emotions. It worked! This makes me so happy. I am not that easily smitten girl anymore. I can see my feelings, feel them, and come clear with them. Not let them influence me like i used to. Keep my life on track.
I do look at people when i am outside. Sometimes man, mostly young man, take that the wrong way. They do approach me. It happened twice. I very politely and decidedly say no. No thank you. No i am not interested. Which works. I’m happy to say.
This week i have been tired. Not sure why. I am working towards something, which is sometimes clear, other times not. Right now, it is not clear at all. So i’m gonna leave this post for now. It didn’t turn out like i imagined. I wished for something glorious! Not today.
Have a good weekend. Salute!
Ooh, and enjoy the photographs. Made today. I like ’em. 🙂
This morning, Wednesday 5 July, i woke up around five. I did check my rss feeds, still a bit sleepy headed. Until around half past five i decided to get out of bed. I dressed up, sliced a piece of the courgette cake i baked yesterday and went out, towards the garden. The moment i passed the Pompenburg i searched for the sun, which at that moment was only halfway up the horizon. I stood there for a short bit, in the midst of the street. It was still quiet. Fifteen to six.
I sat in the garden and slowly munched the courgette cake away. Looking up to the sidewalk where some people were already walking by on their way to work. Still very much in their own minds. I thought about making a photo on the Luchtsingel from the sunrise. The sun was higher now, still a lovely view. I walked on further.
I did a round through the center. Through the Central Station, over the Schouwburgplein, through the Lijnbaan, over the Hoogstraat, the Meent, back home.
I had short chats with several people. One who was sitting in the Biergarten. A homeless person. He offered me a cigarette. Since i don’t smoke, i said no. A plumber was just getting out of his car and getting his work stuff. He didn’t want to go to work. Another homeless person asked me if i liked the flowers i was looking at on the Schouwburgplein. I did. But i like simple flowers better than those big exotic ones.
I looked around. The sun still low. People already working. Standing outside, looking up. Other people walking fast to the station. Still inside their heads.
And me? I was thinking. Thinking about my life over the past two and a half years. I am trying to change it. Make a turn. The garden work. Meeting people who try to live their lives in their own ways as much as possible. Not tied up in a rut.
I do worry about me sometimes. Of course. But there is this distance between me and the world. And this morning i was looking at the world from the distant viewpoint. Quiet in me. Looking out at it. Cleaning up a few little things i came across. The bunch of laughing gas capsules lying on the street, which i kicked to the side. A metal drinking can and a plastic bottle lying in the grass before the Central Station which i put in a waste bucket. Many other things i simply watched. The sale of the Bijenkorf. All these names in the display windows.
When i got back home, i got back in bed. I did fall asleep. Around ten i got out again. Made me some oatmeal porridge, looked at all the photos i had made during the walk and picked the ones i liked the best. Then i watched the Tour de France. Yay 🙂
Timothy Bloxam Morton (born 19 June 1968) is Professor and Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English at Rice University. A member of the object-oriented philosophy movement, Morton’s work explores the intersection of object-oriented thought and ecological studies.
A few weeks ago i came across this article in the Guardian: A reckoning for our species’: the philosopher prophet of the Anthropocene. I made a draft then, with the title Anthropocene. Today i changed that title to Timothy Morton. And made another draft for Anthropocene, to work on later. Let’s be clear. I was interested.
I’m nowhere near done with reading about Morton. I haven’t even touched any of his books. I will start with watching videos on youtube. The fastest way.
A couple of hours later, i did watch some youtube clips. I will watch the longer ones later tonight. I also reread the Guardian article. Too fast, i’m afraid. But still. This post is me pointing to someone and telling you he has something interesting and confusing to say.
Advances in science are now underscoring how “enmeshed” we are with other beings – from the microbes that account for roughly half the cells in our bodies, to our reliance for survival on the Earth’s electromagnetic heat shield. At the same time, hyperobjects, in their unwieldy enormity, alert us to the absolute boundaries of science, and therefore the limits of human mastery. Science can only take us so far. This means changing our relationship with the other entities in the universe – whether animal, vegetable or mineral – from one of exploitation through science to one of solidarity in ignorance. If we fail to do this, we will continue to wreak havoc on the planet, threatening the ways of life we hold dear, and even our very existence. In contrast to utopian fantasies that we will be saved by the rise of artificial intelligence or some other new technology, the Anthropocene teaches us that we can’t transcend our limitations or our reliance on other beings. We can only live with them.
Today the weather turned from cloudy and a bit rainy this morning to a blue clear sky with the sun shining bright right now.
I enjoyed my time in the garden. Some weeding. The bit behind the raspberries. The corner bit. Lots of thistle, grasses and coltsfoot. Not too warm. The sun shining more and more during the afternoon.
Several talks. I liked them. One about the Dutch word eigenlijk, actually.
Another about me and my website. I was asked where the drive came from. I tried to be as honest as i possibly can. Which is hard. Because i have been hiding so many things deep inside over the years. Even for myself. I honestly believe i need to keep on going till the end. I can not play it safe. I can not put a bit on a alternative reality, to keep as a safe place for me to run to once everything goes wrong. I have to stay with this a full 100%. With nothing left to spare. No holding back.
Which is scary. Extremely scary. I honestly do not know what will happen. I need to keep it all in the air and see where it leads me.
I do know time is running out.
But also, timing is vital.
The sun sank lower and lower, and their hopes fell. It sank into a belt of reddened cloud and disappeared. The dwarves groaned, but still Bilbo stood almost without moving. The little moon was dipping to the horizon. Evening was coming on. Then suddenly when their hope was lowest a red ray of the sun escaped like a finger through a rent in the cloud. A gleam of light came straight through the opening into the bay and fell on the smooth rock-face. The old thrush, who had been watching from a high perch with beady eyes and head cocked on one side, gave a sudden trill. There was a loud attack. A flake of rock split from the wall and fell. A hole appeared suddenly about three feet from the ground. Quickly, trembling lest the chance should fade, the dwarves rushed to the rock and pushed-in vain.
“The key! The key!” cried Bilbo. “Where is Thorin?”
Thorin hurried up.
“The key!” shouted Bilbo. “The key that went with the map! Try it now while there is still time!”
Then Thorin stepped up and drew the key on its chain from round his neck. He put it to the hole. It fitted and it turned! Snap! The gleam went out, the sun sank, the moon was gone, and evening sprang into the sky.
Source: The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’ve read this story when i was around eleven twelve years old. The last light of this special Durin’s Day shows the keyhole. This story and the sequel, The Lord of the Rings, are a part of my life.
I’m using these stories dramatic timing to guide myself. I can not simply tell you what is in my mind. I do not know that, not yet. I’m slowly crawling up the mountain, each turn giving me a different perspective.
But, it is not like that. The truth is that i am using these metaphors, these mechanics, these stories to pull me through these uncharted areas.
I am getting closer. I can feel it in every bone in my body. In every dream i had.
The thesis i wrote at the end of art school surfaced a few weeks ago. It has been lying on my desk since then. Sometimes i pick it up and browse through it. De Nieuwe Zakelijkheid. The New Professionalism. It’s main subject are the strategies used by several artists to deal with the continuous stream of criticism written by professional critics who try to fit the new art in the approved history of modern art. Jeff Koons, Gran Fury and the Guerilla Girls are the artists discussed.
Paradoxically, nothing more clearly reveals the logic of the functioning of the artistic field than the fate of these apparently radical attempts at subversion. Because they expose the art of the artistic creation to a mockery already annexed to the artistic tradition by Duchamp, they are immediately converted into artistic ‘acts’, recorded as such and thus consecrated and celebrated by the makers of taste. Art cannot reveal the truth about art without snatching it away again by turning the revelation in an artistic event.
Source: The end of art theory, Victor Burgin, 1986
The introduction gives a global overview of the development of art in the twentieth century. In Western Europe art used to make visual creations made in assignments by the church, royalty and merchant organizations and families. Photography, film and graphic design have taken over these functions of art. Art has settled in its diminished field of use and stated that its core feature is an essential lack of usefulness and applicability.
I have written my thesis in 1991. Reading it back, it feels like there hasn’t changed that much. Of course, some things did. There is the internet. Digital photography. Wars. New young music artists. New writers. New television shows. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Snapchat.
But change? Real, profound change? I’m not so sure.
I started a job in September 1994. I thought about it for a weekend. Things weren’t going that well. I didn’t like the art world in Rotterdam. I didn’t like the talking and mingling. In that weekend i knew i was going for something new, something i didn’t know the end of. I said yes to the job.
After five years i was exhausted and decided to leave. I did get another job. By that time i was making work online. Started 1 July 1997, now twenty years ago. I love the immediacy of the medium. I love the techniques. Gifanimations. Photos. Little games. Flash! I loved it!
At some point i stopped getting inspired. Things weren’t going that well. I withdrew. I started playing World of Warcraft. I didn’t see any of my old friends for eight years or so. Towards the end i did see some eventually. A bit.
For two and three quarter years i have been working again, since October 2014. To me, it has been the greatest gift i could have ever given myself. I still remember sitting in the train going to the center of the Netherlands, looking around me at all the people sitting there, busy with their smartphones, reading a book or staring at the fields passing by outside. Sometimes a conversation started. Jaap with his Rubik’s Cube.
Now i’m here. Sitting in front of my computer, typing these words. Sounds from the outside drift in. A moped. Cars. The tram. People talking, making sounds. It is clouded. Summer.
I kept on learning my entire life. I finally found the courage to do things i had only dreamed of before. Giving away my drawings to Green Gartside is one of those things. Something i feel so happy with. It is hard to believe. But my life is not a stop or go story. Even the years i didn’t work, i was still learning. The years i tried, i failed, i stopped, i cried, all those years are special to me. This is my life.
This doesn’t make it more important to you. You, my dear reader. Each and everyone of us lives his or her own life. To each and everyone of us our experiences make our own life, our experiences are what shapes our believes, our hopes, our despairs. It is very difficult for each and everyone of us to make a link to someone else and share our believes, our hopes, our despairs.
This is art.
The photos with this post are artists. World famous artists. At the start of this post there is a famous work by Damien Hirst, For the Love of God, 2007. I truly admire this work. I truly admire Ai Weiwei. I’m a bit more apprehensive about Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst. But i do think their work says a lot about the world we live in today. Their work is important.
This website, ellenpronk.com, is this art?
My website, ellenpronk.com, is not a commodity. It only exists because i keep on working on it. Making a post five times a week. The work is hard to sell. It is hard to exhibit in a museum or art gallery.
To me, that doesn’t matter. What i want to do is to show you photos i made, photos i found, talk to you about the garden, about thoughts i have about the world. I don’t need to exhibit this work anywhere. It is already out there. Ready for you to visit.
This is my work. I don’t care what other people think. This is my work. It takes all my time. And i am not letting it go.
I do hope you will find something here which interests you. Something to lighten up your day. Something to make you smile. Something to make you think.
And yes, to me, this website, this blog, this is art.
One is about my father.
One is about the Scritti Politti gig i went to last year, 5 February 2016.
Ending up with the truth. For now anyway.
I have said it here before, i love this place.
I really do.